Tag Archives: Hong Kong

Hello, is that 2011?

It’s Mr Bamboo here. Come and get your bloody awful weather back.

As far as I can recall, summer last year, which was largely overcast, gave way to an autumn which was largely wet and overcast. We seem to be enjoying the same weather again this year, and today, true to form, it had to get worse while I was out shopping and buying lunch. A year on and the drains still function at Han Dynasty levels of efficiency, viz. they remain completely dry while the water accumulates everywhere else.

I went back to archive.org and downloaded the Kindle versions of Morris Jones’s Welsh grammar and also Johnson’s 1917 grammar of Old Persian. However, I can’t recommend either because the texts have been lifted straight from the pdf and are riddled with monstrous errors. Because of this, I’ve taken the text from Johnson’s grammar and have been editing in it Word to fix it and thus give me something to work on over the next few weeks or months. The aim is to create a pdf version of the text which can be read easily on a Kindle.

A new version of Freegate popped up this morning, replacing the previous version, which was only about two weeks old, which replaced the previous version which didn’t seem to need replacing at all.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s chief party boy has dropped plans for the Territory’s school children to be brainwashed. I also saw (in brief) a story that the imperial government had cancelled the plan to allow Mainlanders from Guangdong to enter Hong Kong willy-nilly. There were apparently 3 million Mainlanders in Hong Kong in July – another reason not to have gone there this summer.

The latest runabout sighting was a white Audi R8 a couple of days ago. I managed to configure one on the Audi website for about £143,000, which can only be described as eminently affordable for a second car. [Ooh! Is this sarcasm again? –ed.]

Clarity if not enlightenment

Rain and typhoons?

While Beijing has been washed down the drains and Hong Kong has been blown out into the South China Sea (where it bolsters spurious imperial claims to the region), we’ve had nothing but a string of clear sunny days with fluffy white clouds chased about by the wind. I assume that the weather systems to the north and south have been contriving to give us some decent, but rather hot (35°) weather. It’s been clear enough to see the hill to the east without having to squint through a curtain of haze, and as I write this, there’s not a cloud to be seen in the sky from my place.

I suppose I ought to make the most of it.

It reminds me of the summer when I first came to Wuxi, which was such a contrast to the typically cloudy weather of Chengdu. It also reminds me of summer in Hong Kong a couple of years ago when it was clearer than I’ve ever seen it.

There’s still much of the summer left to go, and yet it seems like an age has passed since term ended. I do mind a little bit that I’m still here, and yet in other ways I don’t. I’ve got things done that holidays would otherwise interrupt.

But there goes the rice cooker announcing that it’s teatime.

You can say whatever we tell you to

Or, The Heir Apparent and the ex-PM.

I got up this morning to find a news item on the BBC about the Empire blocking the Bloomberg website. I wasn’t at all surprised to find that the article on the BBC site was also blocked. Talk about a red rag to a bull. I just had to open channel D and find out what was going on.

The fuss was about an article on Bloomberg detailing (as far as possibly) the wealth of the family of the heir apparent, who himself is outwardly squeaky clean while the rest of the clan have millions, including some place in Repulse Bay in Hong Kong. (I know exactly where, too.)

Contrast this story, which will be rigorously suppressed on the Mainland, with the tale of the former Dear Leader, Mr T. Blair, and his tax affairs published in The Guardian. (Tony Blair insists that he does not avoid paying tax.) The two stories are about politicians trying to at least hide their wealth and information about it. In one case, the state connives to aid such concealment; in the other, the press can report such a thing provided the facts have been checked and nothing inappropriate has been said. The Empire and the UK may share a few too many things in common (secret­ive government obsessed with controlling the people; surveillance state), but here’s one point where the two differ in what people may know about their former and future leaders.

It’s also ironic that the Empire aids and abets Blair as well because The Guardian website is blocked beyond the front page.

I’ve finally seen a picture of CY Leung, the new Chief Executive of Hong Kong, who looked to me like the very model of an oily imperial governor. I expect that sooner or later he might be badly photoshopped into some picture where he floats, godlike, above some anonymous stretch of road as his oily counterparts often do on the Mainland.

Time to open channel D.

Term, gentlemen, please

Everybody out, again.

I didn’t rush into school yesterday, but spent the morning buying more music. This time I added to my tiny collection of 18th century English composers who are not called Handel. My sole representative of the period had been Boyce’s Eight Symphonies (Op. 2) to which I’ve now added the complete trio sonatas. In addition to that, I bought Arne’s Trio Sonatas played by Collegium Musicum 90 (he’s Mr Rule Britannia, I believe), and Opp. 1 and 5 to 8 by Charles Avison played, but not ironically, by the Avison Ensemble. Boyce seems to be the most Baroque of the three whereas Arne and Avison have hints of the galant style even although the three were of the same generation. Bits of the latter pair’s music will suddenly sound like the Bach Boys (who wrote California Girls [What a fine example of the academic quality of this blog. –ed.]) Haydn or Mozart in short bursts. That’s another reason for buying this music. The style is slightly different.

I also bought an album of sonatas for violoncello and basso continuo by Geminiani, who was in London at the same time as Handel. I don’t think I’ve ever had anything by him before.

I went and bought lunch and then went to school where I watched people playing musical desks, a game which I played early, but almost no one joined in. I can understand why we should be grouped by department, but I liked things mixed because it gave the office variety.

And then it was time to go and babysit PAL 2. Well, that didn’t happen. I got up to the classroom to be told by their form teacher that she’d told them to go and play outside. I’ve been trying to get them to do that for the past two or three months, but at the end of each class about 95% sit there inertly. We ought to have them move from one room to another between periods although that’d just be an invitation for the dim bulbs to forget to bring anything each time.

The temperature and humidity have soared over the past two days. We’ve actually had some blue sky and sunshine, which is a relief after weeks of predominantly grey weather. But even as I write the haze and cloud is building up and we may yet have the thunderstorm which qq originally forecast.

The orange bike scheme which has appeared around Wuxi does seem to have been being put to use although I’ve yet to see anyone riding one. There are bikes outside Walmart, but the scheme hasn’t got as far as Baoli. I noticed that outside Houcaller, someone had parked their electric scooter beside one of the orange bollards to which the bikes are locked. I’m expecting other people to follow suit until the orange bikes have been displaced by scooters.

I’ve never really surveyed the park outside Baoli, but I note that the vast majority of vehicle parked there are electric bikes and scooters. As for bicycles, I’d say they’d count for less than 5% of everything in the parking area. What will happen when clowns on their electric scooters graduate to cars?

I’ve also heard, but cannot confirm, some story that the Metro may never see the light of day because of instability in the vicinity of the 360 building. Why Wuxi even needs a Metro is beyond me. If it went out to Tesco, Auchan and Metro (the German supermarket) in the New District or out to the airport, it might be useful. But as far as I can tell, it’s merely going to circle the centre of the city.

In the end I bought Faarlund’s Syntax of Old Norse and Volume 1 of Ringe’s A Linguistic History of English. From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic for my Kindle. I decided that two reference works were better value for money than a bunch of novels which I’d probably never read again.

I note that I’ve ended up being disappointed with quite a number of authors over the past ten years. Stephen Clarke’s Merde series wore a little thin when he seemed to depart from the semi-autobiographical stuff into the world of pure fiction. Stephen Hunt should never have been published. Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series stopped being any good two books ago (and, sad to say, I see another volume will be out soon). George Martin also lost the plot and his compass. Brandon Sanderson dragged on so much that it made Martin look like a model of succinctness. Alexander McCall Smith, I can take or leave, but would generally leave. Arturo Pérez-Reverte has never ultimately sustained my interest in the Captain Alatriste series.

I do need to see the inside of a real bookshop to have a decent look at what’s available. Trying to browse Amazon is a painfully slow experience and a lot of the time I’ve scanned the titles before any of the cover images have even appeared. I suspect that the usual Forces of Darkness are to blame for the tardiness of the site because opening channel D does seem to speed things up.

The recent news about the puerile fuss about the girl in the see-through dress on the Shanghai Metro puzzled me. As I’ve noted before, a large proportion of the female population is now in short skirts, shorter shorts and prostitute shoes. This doesn’t seem to excite any comments from the pundits, but some twentysomething in visible granny knickers does. Linda noticed a lot of staring when she was here, and, by coincidence, I’ve seen quite a bit of that over the past few days.

I’ve been reading about the reddening of the South China Morning Post over the past week or so. I like the SCMP – or did –, but there’s something distinctly unsavoury about the paper’s apparent shift towards Beijing and the way in which a respected, award-winning journalist was treated. I didn’t know the SCMP’s owner was Malaysian, either. The recent news from Hong Kong seems fairly gloomy, but is that because of the imperial government’s interference or because of economic problems or some combination of both? Several years ago I concluded that the fifty-year period of grace after Hong Kong was returned to the Empire was not because the latter would become more like the former, but rather the other way round. One morning the people of Hong Kong will wake up and find that much of the Internet is unavailable because it upsets the feelings of the Chief Executive; that the maternity wards are full of mothers from the Mainland; that the posh shops won’t admit locals; and that all the signs are in simplified characters.

Watch: Amazing Hong Kong in 1961!: Shanghaiist

Watch: Amazing Hong Kong in 1961!: Shanghaiist.

This is some fascinating footage of Hong Kong 51 years ago. While some of the scenes might still be found in corners of the territory today, there’s a Mainland feel to the place, viz. dirty, impoverished and squalid. I don’t know whether the clip is an accurate picture of life in Hong Kong in general at the time or whether that’s what people travelling on the tram saw.

[14.11.13. There’s also another, more recent post on the Shanghaiist of footage from China in 1937.]

The 2,000th post

Let’s get this over with.

Since WordPress now tells me how many entries I’ve posted here, I’ve been aware that the 2,000th post wasn’t far away. I’d like to have something substantial to say, but I could be waiting for a long time and never have anything to say sufficiently worthy of such a milestone.

I will note that if I hadn’t acquired the means to circumvent the imperial government’s clod-brained censorship of the Internet, the 2,000th post might’ve been some time away. There’d still be my Live Journal blog, of course, but this is the main one, the heir to my Spaces blog.

I get a steady but small stream of visitors. Many people still seem to want to know who CTB is; quite a lot come for tales of old China; and quite a lot for my summary of the Tobler-Moussafia Law. A certain number also come looking for the pronunciation of Chengdu. I don’t know whether many ever come back, but since the number of visitors is fairly regular, I assume that the visits are mostly one-offs.

Thanks to some vile peasant generous donor coughing or sneezing over me in the past few days, I’ve come down with a cough and have been suffering from flu-like symptoms, viz. tired and achy, today. So much for the end of the holidays.

I’ve been following the story in Hong Kong since the locals complained about the woman feeding her child on the MTR (in spite of announcements in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English); then about pregnant women from the Mainland taking up hospital beds in Hong Kong; and most recently the description of Mainlanders in Hong Kong as locusts. That, in turn, has been parodied on the Mainland, but the locusts here are migrant workers. I think this is a little unfair because if it wasn’t for the migrant workers, the locusts who go to Hong Kong wouldn’t have the money to get their pregnant wives into hospital, to have their babies pissing in rubbish bins, and to spit in that noisy vulgar fashion.

Well, my cotton wool brain says enough is enough, and that it’s time to post no. 2000.

Angry of Admiralty

I’m foaming at the mouth and so’s my wife.

In an opening aside, I see that yesterday’s post didn’t get posted at all. Perhaps I didn’t click on the Publish button firmly enough; it wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened.

When Linda and I got to Hong Kong, I bought the South China Morning Post as I like to do. One of the letters to the editor was complaining about declining results in English exams and how NETs are paid such vast salaries. The implication was that if the teachers are paid well, students’ results should be better. Au contraire, Angry of Admiralty. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

Students have to be responsible for their achievement and listen to the guidance of their teacher. They also have to find the subject relevant, which is largely why teaching on my previous programme sucked balls. We had no meaningful exams and the little darlings treated us and our classes with a singular lack of respect as a result. As I know, it’s possible to end up teaching English at a school in Hong Kong where the students have little or no chance of getting into university, which makes the subject irrelevant to them.

I’m guessing there’s also been a change since the Territory was returned to the inGlorious Motherland. I don’t know whether there’s been a sharp rise in the study of Mandarin or whether Hongkongers are no more interested in it than they are in English. Perhaps they’re in search of an identity. There’s still some connection with the UK (but that’s changed, of course), but the place is still too different from the rest of the Empire. In fact, I notice the difference the moment I enter Hong Kong whether it’s at the airport or Lowu, but I can’t really say what it is. Perhaps it’s a sense of relief to have left the Empire behind. People in Hong Kong probably tend to think they’re Hongkongers rather than 中国人 (with all that simplified characters imply).

Another article in the SCMP revealed that in Hong Kong terms I earn just enough to be middle class. Wah! I don’t want to be lower middle class! They’re such awful people.

While we were in HK, the imperial government was busy celebrating the anniversary of the re-occupation of Tйβέт although they kept pronouncing “re-occupation” as “liberation”. I must’ve missed the part where they explained how the conquest of one mob of peasants by another constituted the liberation of the former. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not all misty-eyed about the Tιбэtαns, who aren’t really that cuddly, but here we seem to have a very filthy pot calling an exceptionally dirty kettle black.

As people do in Hong Kong, we also encountered the imperial regime’s favourite nut-jobs, Fάлuν Гόnγ, over near the Toyo Mall. Actually, they were just outside Japanhome, but I suspect that their reason for being located where they were was because there was a Duty Free shop round the corner which was the destination for tour groups from the Mainland. I doubt whether the tourists are all saying, “Фalυn Gонg? Sign me up!”, but I’d laugh if they were thinking that this small group of people poses a serious threat to the imperial government. Linda did get a free newspaper out of them.

The return of Mr Bamboo (again)

You could at least pretend to miss me.

I’ve been off on my hols, if you must know, and I’ve been off on them whether you want to know or not. I kept a holiday diary, but I’ll spare both you and me a word-for-word transcription.

It all starts with Shenzhen and the only time that my plane was roughly on time. I arrived at the airport a little ahead of Linda, and met her just as she was leaving the baggage claim area in Terminal A. We got the bus into town and then took a taxi to out hotel, which was nice and quiet, being away from the main road. Actually, it wasn’t that quiet because on the first night we were subject to the most prolonged torrential downpour I’ve ever experienced in my life. There was a little thunder and lightning to go with it, but far less than the following evening.

The next day we went to the dance contest at the stadium and watched the semi-finals of the international section. There were four or five different groups of dancers who would go through each type of dance for about a minute and a half while the judges, somehow, managed to score them. There was a very vociferous section of the audience up behind up to our left, but I wasn’t sure who they were cheering for.

After that, Linda wanted to go looking for dancing kit, but the first group of shops were more like the costume shops on 陕西街 in Chengdu than proper outfitters for serious dancers. We found our way to a dance school near the hotel, which had a few things on sale, and we then got sent to another place, which turned out to be a party venue where they also sold skirts and tops, but again, it wasn’t serious kit. This place was also tucked away at the end of a grubby passage in the Lucking Building, which was accessible via the tradesman’s entrance.

It wasn’t until the next day, when Linda and I went to Hong Kong that she found where the proper shops were – at the railway station just near the Lowu border crossing. Unfortunately, we were there at the wrong time. The shops in the railway station dance school didn’t open until 1pm and the shop in the bus station didn’t open till 11am; but at least Linda will know where to go in future.

Anyway, Hong Kong. I needed to buy books, but all Page One seemed to have was chick lit, ’tec fic’ set in New York or the Middle Ages, and Boy’s Own stuff featuring Steel Thrust or “Dirty” Peters. I was utterly uninspired, but did make a start by buying a couple of books by Stephen Clarke, and I eventually ended up with a few more volumes, but mostly fantasy. Page One is all right, but there are better bookshops in the world and it looks like I might have to put up with the excessive expense of postage from Amazon.

We went to Repulse Bay through a short-lived monsoon as we went over the hills to the other side of the island. There were some other people from Chengdu there as well, who eventually emerged from various sheltered spots when the rain mostly died away.

Linda went shopping for cosmetics and various other things, thus making the proprietors of Bonjour, Sasa, and Watsons very happy.

Actually, we were happy because the exchange rate is now HK1.20 to ¥1.00. Back in the old days the exchange rate was just slightly in favour of the Hong Kong dollar, but it meant that I paid a bit less for the new pair of shoes that I bought. I wasn’t planning to buy new shoes, but I did need a new pair and I think I would’ve spent the next six months wishing I’d bought them while I had the chance.

I also bought a new pair of pyjamas because the cyan(ish) pair I’ve had for, er, some time now, is kind of due for retirement. I’ve replaced them with a nice dark blue pair which I got from the M&S in Time Square when the range of options at the shop in Central turned out to be a little thin.

Speaking of M&S, I didn’t know that there was now a branch in Tsim Sha Tsui. I also didn’t know that HMV seems to have entirely vanished from Hong Kong. In that case, where does anyone go for CDs and DVDs or reputable provenance outside of those usually noisy shops just off Nathan Road?

We went back to Shenzhen Airport on the world’s worst signposted bus. We knew about the 330, but there was a sign pointing to an(other) airport bus (K568, if I remember correctly), which seemed to be in the bus station at Lowu. We went right through the bus station and out the other side, rounded the corner, and found it hiding in a building next to, but separate from, the bus station itself. The only sign which indicated that this was an airport bus was right next to it. So full marks for clarity for the Shenzhen Transport Board.

We hadn’t been able to get on the same plane back to Chengdu, and I should’ve been going sooner, but my flight was delayed and instead of arriving in Chengdu an hour ahead of Linda, I arrived about three-quarters of an hour behind her, and she arrived roughly on time. I did something similar today with the plane departing almost two hours behind schedule after a half hour delay and lunch on the runway.

Chengdu was very wet on Monday, and then hot and humid, the latter having me doing my Wicked Witch of the West impression. Ikea was at least pleasant inside although it’s always tempting to go and nod off on the sofas. Linda and I found a range of chairs called Poäng which we quite liked. They have high backs and a cushion just at the right height. However, we were more modest in our purchases with rubber gloves, a soy sauce/vinegar dispenser and a mirror for shaving (or at least cleaning up the aftermath of shaving).

I also went to the bike shops to have a look at bikes. Chengdu has a much better range than Wuxi, which seems to be limited to Giant (mostly) or Merida. Probably I will buy the Hunter 3.0 (only available in Chengdu if you order it), but I quite liked the Eurobike Leap 700 and the Gogobike Pioneer, both of which are cheaper than the Giant bike and possibly lighter. Their shortcomings for me were that they didn’t seem to be designed for practical city use (no real facility for a carrier or a basket) and I know that Giant has a service centre here. Even if these two models are available (probably somewhere in the New District [= bloody long way from anywhere]), I don’t want to have to be travelling 15kms just to get them seen to.

I also went DVD shopping. Like Wuxi, Chengdu’s supply of DVD seems to be being strangled at the moment, and I only picked up a few items. The DVD shop in the cinema building has gone, but while that was a disappointment, it wasn’t a surprise. I always went there expecting to find it gone.

And that is a fairly rough overview of this year’s summer holiday.

New Year forth looking out of Janus’ gate

Will just have to wait a second.

The end of the year brings a leap second, which is really, er, meaningful (2008 to last a second longer). It gives me an extra second to contemplate 2008.

That started with a holiday in Hong Kong during the Spring Festival and the coldest winter the Territory had experienced in a long time; but then again, the rest of the country was pounded by snow storms.

The second term had Quincy and me teaching all three Senior 2 classes, and just as things were going well, the Dowager Empress remembered IELTS, resulting in the remainder of the term (i.e., most of it) degenerating into a mess as we rotated the IELTS and General English classes so that neither of us would have to endure the latter beyond reason. That didn’t work because “beyond reason” with the GE class was about a minute or two.

Then there was the Sichuan earthquake – 12th May 2.28pm – which largely spared Chengdu, but devastated other places such as Dujiangyan. We had another slight tremor a couple of days ago, and I’ve been told of others, although often I haven’t felt them.

I went back to the UK for the first time in three years in July, but that was soured by the ineptitude of the banking system. But I did get a new laptop, which has turned out to be a pretty decent piece of kit, although the screen left something to be desired.

My encounters with Pudong Airport left me absolutely hating the place, which I hope I’ll never pass through again, but while I was in that part of the world, I actually managed to see Shanghai – without my camera. Bugger!

Because the school pulled out of the programme, there’d only be three of us here to teach Senior 2. Then Row decided enough grief was enough and departed, leaving Glen and me to deal with all three Senior 2 classes until the arrival of a new teacher (who, coincidentally, arrives late tonight). I wasn’t expecting these classes to be any better than last year’s, and I wasn’t disappointed. Glen, on the other hand, has been disappointed. Classes he liked teaching last term have morphed into Senior 2s.

Elsewhere in the world, the year ends in an economic mess thanks to American banks. The UK has been knocked down and is now being given a good kicking. A few days ago the exchange rate was ¥10.17 to £1. When I checked the night before last, it was ¥9.85. Things are looking bleak in Blighty. China may not be immune to all this, but it’d seem to be a better country to be in than a lot of others.

At least the Americans ejected Ayatollah Dubya from the White House, but Barack Obama now has to clean up an enormous mess and will, I continue to predict, have to deal with the usual smear campaigns from the right.

In the New Year’s honours list, Terry Pratchett has been knighted. So has Chris Hoy for riding his bike. Now if that’s all it takes to get a knighthood, then I’m long overdue for one, having ridden bikes most of my life, although there were those three gold medals he won at the Olympics. Rebecca Adlington also gets a gong – an OBE. Lewis Hamilton only gets an MBE, whereas I would’ve thought he’d get an OBE at least. If I had to rationalise the difference, I’d guess that because the last British F1 champion picked up that honour not so long ago, the achievement might be regarded as less significant than winning three golds for the first time in a century or getting two golds by swimming from one end of the pool to the other without getting lost somewhere in between.

Looking forward, 2009 will be the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. Maddy’s cif piece about it (Darwin shouldn’t be hijacked by New Atheists – he is an ethical inspiration) claims that he’s a standard-bearer for atheism in the 21st century. Is he? Really? No, Maddy, I don’t think so. When I first started nosing around on line into Humanism and atheism, I found that the old adage about the enemy of my enemy being my friend was true. Two things which get religious nutters all overexcited are homosexuality and evolution, which then pushes these things into bed with atheism. Of course, being gay doesn’t stop someone from being a religious head case.

Evolution tends to leave things to nature, which doesn’t have flora and fauna springing, like Athena, fully formed from the head of Zeus. As a response to environmental conditions, evolution shouldn’t really bother anyone and, as I noted some time ago, humans have manipulated plants and animals to their own ends every since agriculture was invented, which means we’ve been mucking around with evolution ourselves. The religious cranks could comfort themselves that the formulation of evolutionary theory is merely a clarification of the grand design of their particular deity, and which human is supposedly able to understand the mind of any god?

I expect that this’ll be my last year with the programme because it’s time to move on or move no further. A slight change of scenery without a change of location is necessary. There will be no repeat of the second term this year because they’re all going to do IELTS – eventually.

As for the rest, I’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Happy New Year. 新年快乐

The temperature’s dropping

It’s not even stopping.

This has to be the coldest day I’ve experienced in Hong Kong.If you breathe a little hard, you can see your breath. I was thinking when I went out this afternoon that I should’ve worn my gloves as well. All right, so that’s a little extreme, but it’s not far off being the sort of temperature at which you’d be wanting to wear gloves.

In unrelated news, there was an article on the back page of yesterday’s SCMP about the UN switching to simplified characters for Chinese. That small part of the Chinese-speaking world that still commonly uses traditional characters are all upset. Simplified characters are used by a far larger number of people than traditional ones, and they’re solely confined to the Mainland these days. Of course, the UN’s decision to switch doesn’t prevent people in Hong Kong or Taiwan from continuing to use traditional characters.

There have been a few times when the subs on DVDs I’ve shown have traditional characters. I’ve asked my pupils if they have any problems understanding them, but they don’t even although they are the nth gener­ation to have been taught simplified ones. Sometimes the simplified char­acter is probably obvious, and other times it can be determined from con­text. There might be a few occasions when it might not be obvious, but I don’t think traditional characters on the Mainland probably pose a sig­ni­fic­ant obstacle to the younger generation.

However, this is the modern language I’m talking about. I wonder how much Chinese from 500 or 1000 years ago, simplified characters or not, is genuinely intelligible without explanatory footnotes. Your average speaker of English would not be able to understand a text from 1008 and one from 1508 would only be partially comprehensible, although it might seem to be modern English – of a sort.

On the back page of today’s SCMP, there’s an article about that perennial pain in the posterior, Internet censorship in China. It says

Many, in fact, seem only vaguely aware that China’s internet universe is carefully pruned, and even among those who know, most hardly seem to care.

Those of you who are regular readers will recall that I and others have made the observation that Internet censorship in China is a bigger nuisance for foreigners than it is for the Chinese. And it’s not that we give that much of a damn about all those things that get Nanny hot and sweaty [I assume you aren’t referring to sex toys. –ed.], but rather that much that’s irrelevant to China gets blocked in the process (e.g. blogspot and other blog providers; harmless sites such as Omniglot).